Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Poor Sleep Patterns Promote Weight Gain

America is a high-stress society in which most people don't get enough sleep. We could be paying for it with our health. Sleep deprivation is linked to obesity, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

A seven year Finnish study of nearly 9,000 people, led by Peppi Lyytikäinen, found that people who develop sleep problems during the experiment gained more weight than those with normal sleeping patterns. Trouble falling asleep, walking during the night, or trouble staying asleep increased the risk of weight gain by more than 50 percent. Nighttime snacking is common in overweight people with sleeping disorders. The body produces powerful signaling chemicals during sleep deprivation that promote over eating. Chronically sleeping less than six hours per night is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
(International Journal of Obesity, published online June 8, 2010)

Makeover Crunchy Sweet Potato Casserole

This makeover version of sweet potato casserole still has its comforting flavor and sweet topping, but it boasts half the fat of the original. It also has fewer calories and contains 46% less cholesterol.
Servings: 6

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min


  • 1-3/4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands®, All Natural, No Corn Syrup Added, Pure Vanilla Extract


  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour-1 tablespoon cold butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions: Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a food processor. Add the milk, egg substitute, egg, butter and extracts; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a 1-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray.

-In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and flour. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture; sprinkle with pecans. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°.

Nutritional Analysis: 1/2 cup equals 331 calories, 10g fat (4 g saturated fat), 48 mg cholesterol, 113mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 6g protein.

(Makeover Crunchy Sweet Potato Casserole published in Light & Tasty October 2005, p10)

Question of the Week

Q: What is a ''second wind''?

A: No matter how fit you are, the first few
minutes into vigorous exercise you'll feel somewhat out of breath, and your
muscles may ache. Your body isn't able to transport oxygen to the active muscles
quickly enough. As a result, your muscles burn carbohydrates anaerobically,
causing an increase in lactic acid production.

Gradually, your body makes the transition to aerobic metabolism
and begins to burn nutrients (carbohydrates and fats) aerobically. This shift
over to aerobic metabolism coincides with your getting ''back in stride''
(a.k.a. the ''second wind'').

The more you train and the more fit you become, the sooner you
will get your ''breath'' back and reach an aerobic steady state that you can
maintain for a relatively extended duration.

Cedric Bryant

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